Kentucky lawmaker’s satirical bill shows hypocrisy of abortion restrictions


Illustration by Ben Wade


Kentucky State Representative Mary Lou Marzian, a Louisville Democrat, has made it clear that lawmakers should stick to what they know. Last Thursday, she reminded legislators that they are in the business of government and not in the medical field.

“My point to be made is that no government, no house representative, no governor, should be mandating from the capitol what goes on in your medical exam room,” said Marzian, a retired Louisville nurse and presenter of House Bill 396.

The bill requires that a “health care practitioner shall require a man to have two office visits on two different calendar days before the health care practitioner prescribes a drug for erectile dysfunction to him.”

It also stipulates that men must be married, get a signed letter from their partner, and make a sworn statement to the Bible in order to get Viagra.

The bill has made headlines, and it is accurately recognized as a spoof.


Some of the same requirements in the bill were recently passed for women who want to receive an abortion in Kentucky. Now, women must visit their health care provider a day in advance for in-person counseling and return in 24 hours for the actual procedure.

“I felt like it’s only fair for men to understand what it’s like to have government intrude on their most personal private decisions,” Marzian said. “I want to have the women and men of Kentucky to wake up and be aware of what the legislature is doing as far as intruding on their personal and private lives.”

For men to go through an arduous process for Viagra is analogous to how much women endure for health care in Kentucky.

“I want readers to call their state representative, because we are elected and paid for with your tax dollars, and let them know that they do not appreciate government mandating what women and men do in their health care lives,” Marzian said.

Marzian suggests that citizens ask their legislators to find solutions to problems like rising tuition costs and environmental issues instead of obsessing over abortion rights. 

“We need to stop this fight over women’s reproductive health,” Marzian said. “(Women) do not need some government elected person in Frankfort, that has no medical training, making decisions for them.”

It is insulting to assume that women do not have moral values or mental capacity to decide what to do with their own bodies, and Marzian’s satirical bill shows the level of hypocrisy still present in our society regarding women’s health issues.

Professional football players don’t run for president, drummers don’t practice the violin, and legislators should stop fighting over women’s reproductive health — leave that debate to health care providers.

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